The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)
‘Harrowing but weirdly delightful…’
The Miseducation of Cameron Post reveals the raw and honest nature of living within conversion camps, which an estimated further 20,000 minors will be subjected too in the USA. The acting in this film is fantastic, Chloe Moretz offers a very authentic performance of the oppressed and quiet lead, Cameron. This is a story of the individual’s discovery, as she comes of age in a different and frankly, unimaginable way. It is arguable, however, that the characters in this film have already come of age, they have discovered exactly who they are but they now face the task of trying to navigate how the world deals with them as a minority. This leads them to rebel against the authoritative figures as they find comfort and acceptance amongst each other, rather than looking to Christianity in the hope that this will help them repress their feelings.
There is a certain element of innocence in this film, contrasting to most coming of age films, as the characters are not obsessed with sex, drugs, and alcohol (there are elements of these, but they are not the characters’ ultimate goal) but are focused on each other, their friends and family and finding happiness in their dreadful situation, which is refreshing to see. The ending provides hope and contentment for the audience as the three friends we grow to adore subtly conquer their struggles and look to their future. The final wide shot allows the audience to feel free, away from the false sense of security the conversion camp traps the teenagers in. We sympathise massively with their need, not for revenge, but to simply be free.
Some important scenes in the film emit a tone of uncomfortable frustration as a result of excellent writing, performance and powerful silences. These scenes offer stories and emotions that allow the audience to witness the pain of conversion therapy through unthinkable characterisation of backstories and monologues. As well as the harsh reality on face value, underlying is a youthful wit amongst the repressed as they make the best of a bad situation in heartwarming forest set scenes. This film is not one for fancy shots, intricate editing or VFX galore, it is simply a tale of a young person navigating an unimaginably difficult path to adulthood in a challenging society and setting. It is harrowing but weirdly delightful. It will make you think and fall in love with the characters, but most of all it will open your eyes to the existence of individuals that go otherwise unnoticed.